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The 10 Best Foods for Your Heart

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Last Edited: May 22, 2008, 9:12 pm

The 10 Best Foods for Your Heart

Heart disease is often silent, hits without warning, and kills an American every 26 seconds. But you can reduce your risk of a heart attack by 80 percent. Heres how to eat your way to lower cholesterol

You know what you should be eating by now, yet you still pay lip service to the need for a diet rich in whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and fish. Your lack of commitment could be fatal. A heart-healthy diet can reduce your LDL ) cholesterol by 30 percent;a similar drop to what you can get from statin drugs. These foods are dietary magic bullets: They lower LDL cholesterol, raise good & HDL cholesterol, and, best of all, don require a prescription.

1 NUTS People who eat an ounce and a half of nuts;pistachios, almonds, and walnuts are best;more than four times a week have a 37 percent lower risk for coronary heart disease than those who seldom eat nuts, according to a recent study in the British Journal of Nutrition.

2 FISH Two servings a week of omega-3;rich fish is all it takes to significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and elcosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are the omega-3 fatty acids in fish that do the coronary dark work. Wild salmon and Atlantic mackerel are its best sources.

3 OATS Eating an average of two and a half servings of whole grains a day (e.g., oats, brown rice, barley) reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease by 21 percent, according to a new study in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases.

4 AVOCADOS Chock full of monounsaturated fat and beta-sitosterol, avocados deliver a double;barreled blast to LDL cholesterol. They are also rich in folate, a water-soluble B vitamin that helps lower the levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that can hinder the flow of blood through blood vessels.

5 BLACK BEANS People who eat one three-ounce serving of black beans a day decrease their risk of heart attack by 38 percent, according to a recent study in the Journal of Nutrition. Black beans are packed with superstar nutrients, including protein, healthy fats, folate, magnesium, B vitamins, potassium, and fiber.

6 FLAXSEED A recent study of people with high cholesterol (greater than 240 mg/dL) compared statin treatment with eating 20 grams of flaxseed a day. After 60 days, those eating flaxseed did just as well as those on statins. Sprinkle ground flaxseed on oatmeal, yogurt, and salads.

7 GREEN TEA EGCG, an antioxidant that helps fight heart disease, is plentiful in green tea. Drink it like water: Five cups of green tea daily can boost your cardiovascular health, according to several recent studies. But don;t add milk, it eliminates the benefits.

8 WATERMELON High in blood-pressure-lowering potassium, a good source of inflammation-reducing vitamin C, and rich in lycopene, a slice of watermelon or a glass of watermelon juice should be part of your daily diet.

9 SPINACH The heart-health equivalent of a first-ballot Hall of Famer, spinach is replete with the essential minerals potassium and magnesium, and it;s one of the top sources of lutein, an antioxidant that may help prevent clogged arteries. Eat one cup a day of fresh, or � cup cooked.

10 RED WINE Swimming in resveratrol&#a natural compound that lowers LDL, raises HDL, and prevents blood clots;red wine can truly be a lifesaver. The American Heart Association recommends two glasses a day. Vin rouge is also a rich source of flavonoids, antioxidants that help protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart. Not a drinker? Nibble dark chocolate. It contains the same flavonoids as red wine.

Entry #601

Comments

1.
Comment by pacattack05 - May 22, 2008, 10:13 pm
Great advice. I take 2 capsules of omega-3 after every meal for my heart, skin, and others.

Poor circulaton in my left 3 smallest toes has forced me to eat hot pepper powder, cinnamon, and others to help. And it has helped.
2.
Comment by pacattack05 - May 22, 2008, 10:16 pm
Forgot to mention that cinnamon mimics insulin, just in case I have an onset of diabetes. It opens the receptors which allow glucose to the oxygen deprived cells.

Cumin is good too, and other holistic cures.
3.
four4meComment by four4me - May 23, 2008, 12:53 am
go easy on the green leafy vegetables if your taking blood thinners. Spinach is high in vitamin K
4.
justxploringComment by justxploring - May 23, 2008, 3:29 am
I like the idea of nibbling on some dark chocolate!   I'm still wondering about all the eggs I eat.
Sesame seeds are full of nutrients and lower blood pressure and reduce stroke.
I can't eat nuts or seeds, but tahini and halvah are other ways to get their benefits.
One thing I find really bad for my heart is all these close 4/5 or 4/6 wins. I keep thinking I won the lottery. LOL!

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